Joey’s quest to the top started in the fall of 2013. Entering the Cross Country season, there was only one name being spoken as a favorite to win the Florida Middle School state title. This name being Trevor Foley, a runner from 20 miles south of Ocala in a city called Hernando. Foley, being coached by Drew Martucci, beat Joey very early on in the cross country season at the Halloway Park Invitational. Going into the state cross country meet Foley was the odds on favorite having beaten Joey by 32 seconds in their only meeting during the season. In the last few hundred meters of the race Joey shocked everyone in the Florida running world by breaking away from Foley to win the state meet. In winning Joey broke both the state meet and course records. Joey wasn’t satisfied with simply winning a state title, before closing out his cross country season, he went on to also win a National title!
Joey continued his winning ways on the track this season. At the 2014 FLYRA Middle School state championship, Joey again shocked the running community. Coming off of injury, he was entered in 3 events on the day, the 3k, the 1500m and the 800m. The goal was to go for the win in each event, while also chasing great times. Not only did he reach his goal of the triple crown, he also broke 2 state records and posted the US #1 time in the 1500m. Joey’s time of 4:19.09 in the 1500m, broke the record of Joe Franklin, a runner who went on to run for the University of Tennessee. His 9:21 in the 3k broke a record held by Brian Atkinson, a runner who went on to run for Duke. Atkinson won multiple state championships and is considered by many to be one of the best runners to ever come out of Florida. If Joey’s 8th grade year is any indication, we have a lot to look forward to these next 4 years.
Congratulations Joey for an amazing 8th grade year!